Vol. 19 No. 2 (1999): Apr-Jun / 1999

Vol. 19 No. 2 (1999)

Apr-Jun / 1999
Published April 1, 1999


Limits of the scientific and technological development in Brazil
João Antônio de Paula
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The purpose of this article is to establish the social, political, economic and
cultural elements that are in the basis of the constitution of any process of scientific and
technological development in order to consider the specificity and the limits of the Brazilian
path in this matter.

JEL Classification: O33; B50.

The “Institutional Building” in Brazil: a proposal
Fabio Giambiagi
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article develops the idea of “institutional building”, in the case of Brazil. It
is shown the convenience of having boards with fixed and alternate terms, as a way of giving
continuity to the administration in some of the segments of the public sector. After the
privatization of several companies, it is important to think of the modernization and strengthening
of the other companies that remain under the Government control. Based on this
principle and on the problems related to the administrative discontinuity, some proposals of
institutional changes are suggested.

JEL Classification: H83; O25; D73; G24.

Globalization and productive restructuring: the Fordism and/or Japanism
Maria da Graça Druck
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper analyses the process of the productive restructuring in course in the
globalization context, giving priority to their social and political dimensions. It situates the
transformations of the forms of work organization and management into history. It makes a
reconstruction of the taylorism, the fordism and their crisis. It discusses different approaches,
present in the actual literature, about the “Japanese model” (toyotism) and its application
in Brazil.

JEL Classification: P12; L10.

State reform and the theory of institutional policy
Thráinn Eggertsson
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

A theory of institutional reforms must recognize what policy instruments are
available, how politics restrains the choice sets of reformers, and whether spontaneous counter-
policy by ordinary actors is likely to undermine reforms. A discussion of the so-called
Determinacy Paradox concludes that it is not a practical issue. Insights suggested by the new
institutionalism include measures to reduce political risks, increase the durability of reforms,
and reduce transaction. The main weakness of NIE as a guide to policy is its limited understanding
of the role of norms in undermining reforms and of long-term internal dynamics of
social systems.

JEL Classification: B25; H11; D72.

Service activities: reviewing concepts and typologies
Anita Kon
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper investigates some basic aspects about the traditionally used definitions
and classifications of service activities. The first part of the paper evaluates some
essential transformations concerning service activities, which are occurring in the productive
processes, in the nature of the product, in consumption and in the market, since the advance
of recent technological innovations. It stresses the difficulty to measure and analyze those
recent economic evolutions, by using the traditional conceptions. Following, it proposes a
revision and up-dating of the concepts, in order to adapt them to the new role performed by
this sector in the worldwide productive context.

JEL Classification: L80; B41.

Keynes and the new Keynesians
João Sicsú
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The article uses Keynes’ ideas to analyze New Keynesian economics, its assumptions
and its most important corollaries. It examines the crucial assumption of New Keynesian
economics: the stickiness of prices and wages. Concluded this analysis, these Keynesian
new-school’s results and methods are criticized. One carries out the conclusion that only
conflicts emerge in the relation between Keynes and New Keynesian economists.

JEL Classification: B22; E12; B41.

A turning point in the debt crisis: Brazil, the US Treasury and the World Bank
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper is an account of the Brazilian 1987 negotiation of the debt crisis, that
represented a turning point in the history of this world financial crisis. When the author
assumed the Finance Ministry of Brazil, in April l997, the country was in moratorium. The
minister, after consulting international bankers, economists and state officials, prepared a
proposal for solving the problem that was based in two key ideas: the securitization of the
debt with a discount, and the relative delinkage between IMF and the commercial banks in
the negotiations. In September 1997 the proposal received from the Secretary of the Treasury,
James Baker, a public “non starter” answer, but given the interest it immediately arose in the
international financial community, eighteen months later the Brady Plan, that established the
parameters for solving the debt crisis, had as core proposals these two ideas.

JEL Classification: N16; B31.


Political business cycles: a reviewa
Tânia Marta Maia Fialho
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

In the last four decades, the relationship between economic performance and
politics has been examined by means of various theoretical and empirical approaches, suggesting
the possibility of a political business cycle in many countries. This study presents a
review of the main models of Business Cycle Theory and of the main findings reported in
the international literature. In part, the empirical evidence suggests that the political variable,
particularly the electoral variable, is an important determinant of cyclical movements in the
economy, indicating that Business Cycle Theory is consistent with the observed performance
of several modem democratic societies.

JEL Classification: D72; D78; B21; H50.